- Title: SAUDI ARABIA: Saudis to keep reserve management strategy - central bank
- Date: 18th June 2014
- Summary: JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA (JUNE 17, 2014) (REUTERS ) U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY JACK LEW AND SAUDI FINANCE MINISTER IBRAHIM ALASSAF ENTERING NEWS CONFERENCE ROOM VARIOUS OF REPORTER WRITING ON MOBILE PHONE SAUDI FINANCE MINISTER WELCOMING U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY REPORTER ASKING QUESTION TO U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY (SOUNDBITE) (English) JACK LEW, U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY,SAYING: "There are many threats that we watch because we have individual or common interests in making sure that whether it is in Iraq, Hezbollah or Afghanistan, that terrorist financing cannot take advantage of the formal banking system or the informal banking system." REPORTER JACK LEW LISTENING TO QUESTIONS (SOUNDBITE) (English) FAHAD ALMUBARAK,GOVERNOR OF SAUDI CENTRAL BANK,SAYING: "There is no change in our investment policies, we continue to have a balanced allocation of our assets?, currencies, geography and other asset classes, this will continue as long as we are building our reserves." CAMERAMAN REPORTERS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic)SAUDI FINANCE MINISTER IBRAHIM ALASSAF, SAYING: "There is no doubt that the dollar plays a basic role in international transactions or in the reserves , If there is a call to reduce the dollar link, it is not a formal invitation, it is writings of newspapers and other. Our official Saudi Arabia position is to continue to peg the Riyal to the dollar." ALASSAF AND LEW LEAVING NEWS CONFERENCE
- Embargoed: 3rd July 2014 13:00
- Location: Saudi Arabia
- Country: Saudi Arabia
- Topics: Economy
- Reuters ID: LVA4BE3J338GUFGV894K8QUYB7V0
- Story Text: Saudi Arabia's central bank will keep its current strategy for managing the country's foreign reserves, Central Bank Governor Fahad al-Mubarak said on Tuesday (June 17), indicating a continued emphasis on U.S. dollar assets.
The country's net foreign assets, swelled by high oil prices, are currently worth about $730 billion, and have been growing at an annual rate of about 9 percent.
The central bank is believed to have placed over half of that amount in conservative U.S. dollar assets such as U.S. Treasury bonds and bank accounts.
"There is no change in our investment policies, we continue to have a balanced allocation of our assets?, currencies, geography and other asset classes, this will continue as long as we are building our reserves," Mubarak told a news conference, appearing alongside visiting U.S. Treasury Secretary, Jack Lew, in answer to a question on whether Saudi Arabia was still interested in buying U.S. bonds.
In a statement, Lew emphasised cooperation over shared concerns about the developments in Iraq.
"There are many threats that we watch because we have individual or common interests in making sure that whether it is in Iraq, Hezbollah or Afghanistan, that terrorist financing cannot take advantage of the formal banking system or the informal banking system," Lew said.
Lew said the U.S. would continue to work closely with Saudi Arabian authorities as they enhance financial transparency through improvement of their anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing controls.
Earlier this month Saudi Arabia's Shura Council, an influential advisory body to the government, discussed a proposal for the country to establish a sovereign wealth fund that would invest some of its budget surpluses. Further debate is planned.
It is not clear whether the proposal will eventually be adopted or whether it could mean a change in asset management strategy, perhaps to a more active, risk-taking approach. Mubarak did not comment on the proposal on Tuesday.
At the same news conference, Saudi Finance Minister Ibrahim Alassaf reiterated that the country would continue to peg its riyal currency SAR to the dollar.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2014. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None